Relieve achy joints and muscles
The first of many cayenne pepper benefits is that it helps to relieve achy joints and muscles. Capsaicin, the substance that gives cayenne its spicy taste, is the active ingredient in many over-the-counter treatments for arthritis and muscle pain. Over time, it short-circuits pain by depleting nerve cells of a chemical called substance P, which helps transfer pain signals along nerve endings to the brain. Mix a few dashes of ground cayenne with 2-3 teaspoons of olive oil. Apply it with gauze to unbroken skin at painful joints several times a day. The first few doses will cause a mild burning sensation, but you’ll become desensitized after a week or so. Keep away from the mouth, eyes, and other mucous membranes. (These foods are way more nutritious than you thought.)
Boost your calorie burning potential
In a six-week study of 25 non-overweight adults, two Purdue researchers found cayenne helped increase study participants’ body temperatures and the amount of calories they burned. Just a half of a teaspoon of cayenne pepper along with a meal can help suppress appetite and burn calories. Interestingly, study subjects who reported they did not prefer or regularly use the spice before the test got the biggest benefits: reduced appetites and a decreased craving for salty, fatty, or sweet foods.